Demons sweep Sailors in league opener
The Glenwood Springs Demons took advantage of some base running miscues by the Steamboat Sailors in Game 1 of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader, and then used a dominant pitching performance from junior pitcher Chano Gonzalez in Game 2, to record a 6-5 and 4-2 sweep in the Western Slope League baseball opener for both teams in Glenwood.
“This is a great way to start the conference schedule,” Glenwood veteran Head Coach Eric Nieslanik said. “To win two close games is a great feeling for these kids.”
Following the narrow win in the afternoon opener, the Demons came out confident and aggressive to start things in the second game of the twin bill, as they jumped out quickly to a 2-0 advantage when senior shortstop Tyler Boyd was hit by an errant pitch from Sailor Quintin White, and Gonzalez and senior Davis Deaton delivered key hits to give Glenwood a leg up on the Sailors.
The Demons struck for another run in the bottom of the second inning to keep the pressure on Steamboat. Junior Kai Kanzer started things off with a single, and senior Chris Deaton also delivered a run-scoring single, as Glenwood widened their lead on the overcast spring afternoon.
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Gonzalez, who kept the Sailors’ bats silent from the mound in the early going, faced his only real trouble of the game in the fifth inning. After scoring a run to help his own cause following a massive double to right-center field by senior Jake Brown in Glenwood’s half of the inning, Gonzalez gave up consecutive hits to Steamboat’s Jack Boyle and Colter Gansman, as things began to get a bit tense for the home team.
Steamboat Freshman Alan Duty walked for the Sailors to load the bases, but Gonzalez began to bear down, as he promptly struck out the next two Steamboat batters before giving up a two-run single to Ethan Johnson to bring the Sailors back into the game at 4-2. Despite the mounting pressure, Gonzalez then retired the side, ending the remaining Steamboat scoring threat. For the rest of the afternoon, the Sailors mounted no serious scoring chances, and got no closer to the Demons.
“That inning was a turning point in the game,” Gonzalez said following the win. “I just tried to concentrate more on my pitches at that point and hit the strike zone.”
Gonzalez then used a variety of pitches from his arsenal to cruise the final two innings and get the complete game victory for Glenwood.
“I tried to mix in some curveballs and a few knuckleballs with my fastball,” the junior said.
Senior lefty Davis Deaton went five innings and was the winning pitcher for Glenwood in the opening game of the afternoon
Glenwood (3-2, 2-0 WSL) will now take some time off for spring break. The Demons will return to the diamond on April 4, when they will make the trek to Gypsum to face the Eagle Valley Devils in another Western Slope League affair.
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Kuba Bartnik and AJ Adams will leave a legacy at Glenwood Springs that’s hard to match after both signed to run and jump collegiately.